Join in and Pay It Forward Initiative

Carol B Sessums:

Thought I might add it again and let you know I have 3 spots left. Please holla if you’d like to join in and pay it forward. ;)

Originally posted on adjustingyourfocus:

After all the recent terrible tragedies that have happened and are happening, this world needs as much kindness as it can get. I’m participating in the ‘Pay it Forward’ initiative: The first five people who comment on this post (actually 4 spots left) with “I’m in” will receive a surprise from me at some point during the next calendar year – anything from a book, a ticket, something homemade, a postcard, absolutely any surprise! There will be no warning and it will happen when the mood comes over me and I find something that I believe would suit you and make you happy.

These five people must make the same offer on their Facebook status or Blog Post or Twitter. Once my first five have commented “I’m in” and I’ve messaged you back, you can copy and paste it, and put it on your status so that we can form…

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January Goal Accomplished! Yeeeeaaah Baaabyyyy!

Can’t you just see Austin Powers when you read that title?  Hehe!

So, what up, my sweet peeps?!  I have to say I am soooo stinkin’ excited!  Remember when I talked about setting one main goal to accomplish per month rather than a list a mile long of resolutions?  Well, let me tell ya – it totally worked (so far)!!!  I had just enough moxey to keep at it, put myself out there and rustle me up a slick contract with my hourly rate and enough hours so that I can kick some of these around the clock jobs to the curb.  Yesh!

Now, well… maybe not now, but soon, I will be able to get back to 8 hours of sleep per night, fit in some time to be creative and work on my book.  Oh, and guess what?!  The voices are awake!  I’ve only taken enough time to jot down some points to jog my memory and fit in time to work it out later.  I’m just so excited that I’m finally gonna have time to write, hang out with my invisible/imaginary friends, get some quality and quantity of sleep, time to catch up with my friends in the blogosphere, time to catch up with local friends, maybe take in a lunch and maybe dinner and drinks!  Nice!

I actually got a wild hair and was thinking I’d go to that Valentine’s Party I was invited to but not quite sure I’m ready to be that bold, yet.  Not sure I’m ready to put myself out there like that.  Yes, there will be a lot of singles there.  Yikes!  I hate the whole dating bit anyway.  I’d rather meet a man in the produce aisle over a melon or something.  You know?  Tall, dark and handsome keeps glancing at me from the cantaloupes.  His brooding eyes…  His pirate smile…  His drown in my sea of bluest of blue eyes…  He casually comes over and asks, “Ahem.  ‘scuse me, Miss?  It is… Miss, isn’t it?  How do you know if the melon’s ripe or not?”  Our hands touch and we just know.  The Angels start singing.  It’s LOVE, baby!  Okay, I’m getting a little carried away.  And great, right when I wrote “LOVE,” Austin Powers hijacked my daydreamy McDreamy, dangflabbit!  And I haven’t even had any wine, yet!  Go figure.

Since I’ve met my January main goal, I ponder whether I should go ahead and start working on my February main goal or add another goal to January.  Hmm…  Things that make me go hmm.  I’ll have to think on that a while.  Or maybe I’ll think on that t’morro’.  A little Miss Scahlet, anyone?

I’m so looking forward to my new schedule.  When those regular new checks start popping up in the next week and a half, my new life begins!  Yea!!!

A Vanquished Foe

Carol B Sessums:

What a magnificent read!

Originally posted on J.J. Anderson's Blog:

The light was yellowed with the day’s death. All the beasts which eat green and growing things were seeking their places of slumber; the others, those which feed on flesh and gentle things, were waking. I stood at the crenulations of my castle wall looking out across my infinite plains. The sun’s own death throes painted fire red my rolling fields of wheat. I smiled a handsome smile as tendrils of wind fingered through my crops like a giant’s hand through his mane. It was magnificent… but something was amiss. I heard the shrill call of a maiden. She came running, with flaxen hair and cherub cheeks, and stopped short at the sight of my muscular build. Her hair was parted in pig tails. She wore a halo of sunlight.

Fair Maiden

This maiden, fairer than fair, told a tale so distressing. In the dark nights of these past autumnal months, a…

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Illusion of Aliveness

tim“The thing about a story is that you dream it as you tell it, hoping that others might then dream along with you, and in this way memory and imagination and language combine to make spirits in the head.  There is the illusion of aliveness.”
Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried

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That is beautiful.

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So how’s your 2015 going along so far?  No changes here really except perhaps feeling a bit more hopeful.  Still working like a crazy person but feeling a bit differently about it.  I’m feeling more blessed.  Not everyone gets the chance to make their dreams come true.  My first dream came true – having a daughter, the most wonderful daughter in the world.  Yes, that happened and she’s AMAZING!!!!

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I could not have received a better gift.  That was my main dream.  Everything else is secondary.  She and my mom – they are my number ones.  Yes, you can have more than one number ones.  Family is number one.  When you can call them your best friends, that’s another number one.

I started working from home so I could be closer to my child and actually raise her and be here for her when she needs me.  Another dream come true.  Been doing this for a while now.  Sometimes, it’s been great with awesome contracts where I didn’t have to work a ton of hours, got great payments and had weekends off.  Other times, it’s been a real struggle, trying to survive on 4 hours sleep a night,

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but I’ve done it and continue to do it.  I’ve questioned myself at times, asking God if I’m supposed to be doing this or do I need to go out there and get another office job.

Ah, regular set hours not more than 8 or 9 per day, pay per hour/week/year rather than per job, perks, paid holidays, paid sick days, paid vacation, weekends off and it sounds lovely.  Then I remember all the cons of morning and evening rush hour traffic, that lovely commute,

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all the extra money I had to put in my gas tank, working with attorneys, working with harsh personalities (didn’t I just say that?),

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having only 2 hours per evening with my kid which is pretty much set with cooking supper, cleaning the kitchen, helping with school projects or what have you, pat the pets on the head quickly, kiss kid good night, then do it all again the next day, like a robot, oh and try to slurp down a HUGE glass of wine during/after supper to try and help me brush off any negative office poo from the day.

And then I remember all the good things of what I get working from home.  Rather than focusing on all the hours I work and working 7 days a week (this may change shortly to weekends off again):  I get to take my daughter to school, pick her up, walk the dogs when they need to go out, take my mom to any appointments, working in my pjs if I want or sweats, working in a tank and shorts and no shoes during the summer, no makeup if I don’t want it, being here all those hours after school so if she needs to talk, I’m here.  Sure, it can be a struggle with money sometimes and lack of sleep but then I remember, at least I do have work.  At least I do have income.  I can also be here for my family and I don’t mind a little struggle now and again if it means I’m doing it for them and can actually be here for them.  They are my heart.  My mashed potatoes I call ‘em.  Everything else in life that’s good is the gravy.

Elf

And when I do get more regular hourly contracts again, I’ll have weekends back, 8 hours sleep per night, and I can dust off some of my creative ambitions and finish my books and start my video series!!  I’m feeling hopeful.  And glad.  And thankful and happy!

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How ’bout you?  Are you feeling hopeful?  I hope so.

I also wanted to take this time to thank you for hangin’ with me.  I appreciate your friendship soooo much and love talkin’ with y’all and getting to know each of you through your blogs and through your comments.  So thanks and I share with you my warm squishy hugs and smooches and wish for you a 2015 that’s filled with more laughter than last year (just don’t chortle with coke in your mouth, ’cause when than crap comes out your nose, it hurts!!), more joy, more happiness, more happy dances (click the link), more love and more hope.

dance-of-joy-o

Some Realness for you

Okay, if you are in a good mood and feeling very up and don’t want to listen to a Debbie Downer, then please do not read this post.

I am not going to just be all selfish and have my own little pity party here per se, but I am going to spill a little angst and frustration and wonder how many of you out there are feeling what I’m feeling or are you trying to be strong and be a trooper and hold it in, silencing it.

I had a really good cry just now and am actually feeling two percent better but I have to tell you, sometimes I feel God is up there with his hands on his hips, laughing at me as I fall on my face, mocking me almost. Yes, I know he’s not, but I suppose it’s what I see in myself that makes me see God that way. It’s me, being inside my own dark stinky head. Do you ever feel this way?

I am sure it’s due to a lack of sleep, working too many hours, working 7 days a week. I’m totally punishing myself. I asked for this. I asked to work from home and I love being here for Hallie and being present for her and this is a real gift, but at the same time, not getting sleep, working so many hours daily, 7 days per week is for the birds. Or no, it’s not even for them. They need rest and time to play, too. It’s like God is saying, “So how much do you want this?” I had some great contracts where I only worked 20-30 hours a week with weekends off and all my bills were paid. Those have finished and now lately all I’ve been doing is transcription where the pay is laughable and piddly writing jobs but yes, it’s better than nothing.

I guess it sounds like I’m complaining. I’m actually grateful I have the work. I know some people have nothing, no job, no home, not even family, nor good health, so I have so much. I know I’m blessed. However, being tired and overworked can make a girl crazy and depressed, which is my reason for this airing of my frustration. I guess I needed someone to talk to. I guess I wanted to talk to you, talk it out, see if you can relate and it also gives me an opportunity to express myself with written/typed words. I have missed my writing more than anything I can think of. I’ve halfway even thought of starting a Kickstarter or Indigogo campaign just for looking of ways of funding me finishing one of my books or the video project I told you about on an earlier day. Crazy, right? I’m not quite that desperate yet but I still think about it.

Do you ever feel like you are so tired, all that crazy and depression floods your whole body and you just feel worthless? Unworthy of anything good? There’s no time to do anything you want or need to do, so you wonder what the meaning to your life is. I’m questioning myself today. I wish for things. I wish for love. No, not wishing for the man of my dreams to come charging up on his steed bearing flowers and a blinding twinkling white teeth smile and the bluest of blue eyes. I’m wishing to feel God’s love for me.

Normally, this would be so simple for me. I feel his love when I think of how he sent Jesus for me, how he sent my beautiful mom, how he sent my wonderful daughter. I know he loves me because of these blessings but I guess I need more.  Needy, right?  My wish is also to feel love for myself. How does one love one’s self? How do you like yourself? I know, when I was in the midst of writing a story, I’d lose myself. It’s like I finally got out of my own head and spilled, ya know? I spilled the lives of my characters. It’s like I lived all these other people’s lives and they were interesting and tragic, funny and magical, quirky and insatiable. And now, I feel trapped in the walls of my own mind and I’m boring with only work for what seems like 24/7. So I’m trapped with just me. My imaginary friends aren’t even talking to me these days because they know I have no time to hear them, no time to listen.

Do you ever feel like this? Worthless? Unworthy of good things? Unworthy of love? Wondering if your life will ever feel somewhat normal again?

Maybe it’s the lack of sleep talking.  Maybe it’s this drippy weather for days.  Maybe it’s because Hallie’s gone on a trip with her youth group and I’m missing her.  Maybe I’m crashing from my sugar high from all this Christmas candy.  I’ll be okay.

Perhaps my next post will be a little more uplifting.  Lord, please send some sunshine and a better contract?  And a reason to love me.

Love Thyself

“Over the years, I have come to realize that the greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity, or power, but self-rejection. Success, popularity, and power can indeed present a great temptation, but their seductive quality often comes from the way they are part of the much larger temptation to self-rejection. When we have come to believe in the voices that call us worthless and unlovable, then success, popularity, and power are easily perceived as attractive solutions. The real trap, however, is self-rejection. As soon as someone accuses me or criticizes me, as soon as I am rejected, left alone, or abandoned, I find myself thinking, “Well, that proves once again that I am a nobody.” … [My dark side says,] I am no good… I deserve to be pushed aside, forgotten, rejected, and abandoned. Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the “Beloved.” Being the Beloved constitutes the core truth of our existence.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen

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Wow, how much I sound like Mr. Nouwen when it comes to believing in the negative voices!  However, I don’t even need those other voices.  I have my own and it can be plenty negative enough.  Some days, I feel I love myself, even like myself.  Other days, when things aren’t going so well for me, I tend to fall into that dark trap of my own inner voice – me, telling myself I’m worthless.  I’m so thankful that I do have many positive people, things and places in my life that bring me much happiness, joy, encouragement and comfort.

Now, if I could just get to that place of a true self-love the majority of the time, that would be amazing.  It’s great to have others that lift you up and love you and like you but it’s even more valuable to lift yourself up and believe – really BELIEVE you are awesome.  Even amazing, talented, worthy of great things, you’re fun, intelligent and you add so much to the world.

How is it easier to feel the bad stuff about yourself?  You can lift others up but not yourself.  Why is it easier to believe the bad stuff and not more of the good, the positives?

Do you feel like you love yourself most days?  Do you like yourself?  What are 3 things that you like about yourself, about what you do or what you’re good at?  This is not an exercise in narcissism but rather an exercise in self-love and self-nurturing.  We need to believe in ourselves more.

Mine?  Hmm.  (1) I’m a good mom for the most part but there is always room for improvement; (2) I’m a good cook but there’s always room for improvement; and (3) I’m a good daughter for the most part but (I’ll say it again) there is always room for improvement.

What are your 3 things?  Can you come up with more?  If you come up with more than 3, you get a giant gold star!!!  :)

Love you guys!  Make this an AMAZING day, because YOU are already awesome!  *smooch*

-Carol